Bringing image processing into PLC environments in the UK

26 June 2020

Beckhoff Automation UK is bringing vision system image processing into familiar PLC environments with its new TwinCAT Vision software.

The software, an extension of the popular TwinCAT range of PC-based control systems, is said to simplify the process of configuring and programming vision systems for engineers. 

The TwinCAT Vision software brings image processing into a single platform alongside PLC, HMI, motion control and IoT device management to allow engineers to reconfigure and calibrate geometric cameras and control machine vision systems from a familiar operating environment, using PLC programming languages and the same configuration tools as used for fieldbuses. 

Incorporating these functions into one system aims to improve ease-of-use and eliminate latency in executing image processing algorithms, which can now execute in real-time. It also allows for greater synchronisation between vision processing, PLCs and motion control functions. 

Because the TwinCAT system is PC-based, it benefits from the use of a Gigabit Ethernet interface, upon which image data transmission protocols such as GigE Vision are based. The TwinCAT Vision software features a real-time driver that supports GigE Vision, as well as tools that can read and configure settings based on the GenApi format commonly used by GigE Vision compatible camera manufacturers.

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